Scope of Practice Review Issues Paper One released

Published 1 February 2024

The first Issues Paper has been released for the Unleashing the Health Workforce Scope of Practice Review.

Responses are now being sought by way of an online survey with responses due by 8 March. This is phase two of the consultation and development process and will be followed by a second issues paper and round of consultation.

Pages 14 and 15 identify the key areas the review team see as offering opportunities for improvement:

  1. Harmonising drugs and poisons legislation across states and territories.
  2. Shifting scope of practice regulation to focus on specific activities.
  3. Reviewing the use of named professions and protected titles in legislation.
  4. Referral authority across primary health care professions.
  5. Review regulation of self-regulated and unregulated health workforces.
  6. Streamlining endorsements for advanced or specialised practice roles for non-medical professions.

From an AHPA perspective, there are significant opportunities and also some potential risks for the allied health sector associated with these. Greater access to prescribing and referral rights are a significant opportunity and priority for a number of professions. We hope to support progress with both.

Direct referral in particular has been highlighted as a focus for this next phase, and we’re hoping to identify all relevant professions and referral pathways that should be highlighted for the review team.

Regulation of self-regulated allied health professions is a complex area and one in which views differ across professions. Regulation under NRAS is a key focus for a number of professions, but is not the only potential outcome from possible changes to the regulatory system for self-regulating professions. Any AHPA response in relation to regulation of self-regulating allied health professions will be developed in conjunction with NASRHP and the relevant professions.

The issues paper also calls out some additional areas of opportunity and focus including the impact of settings on scope, funding policy, and the role of technology and digital health.

AHPA will be developing a response with member input.

Members can find out more about how to get involved on AHPA’s online member community.